Sri Lanka is Doing Well but Not Well Enough, Shows Doing Good Index

20 March 2018

Sri Lanka is doing well but not well enough with regard to social work and philanthropy shows the inaugural Doing Good Index 2018 (DGI), compiled by the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS).

CAPS Director of Research, Mehvesh Ahmed, who was speaking at a roundtable hosted by IPS on 20 March 2018, noted that Sri Lanka is doing worst in the eco-system sub-index, which measures social recognition and public perception. Difficulty in recruiting skilled staff, lack of education programmes relating to social services, and lack of trustworthiness are some reasons for this trend.

The Doing Good Index analyzes the philanthropic practices according to four sub-indexes, namely regulations, tax incentives and fiscal policies, procurements, and the eco system. IPS carried out the surveys pertaining to the study in Sri Lanka, led by Research Officer, Kithmina Hewage.

According to the DGI, Sri Lanka is in the “doing better” category, along with countries such as Malaysia and Thailand. The lack of tax incentives and fiscal policies that enable charities and social service organizations to flourish is a common challenge faced by countries in this category, the index found. According to the Index, 74% of the respondents said the level of individual giving is low in Sri Lanka. This is due to two reasons, religious giving and lack of tax incentives. Meanwhile Mr. Hewage also noted that there is a lack of information and awareness about tax incentives.

The roundtable was attended by a wide variety of participants who are involved in charities, NGOs, and social organizations across Sri Lanka.